Pretoria was founded by Marthinus Pretorius, a leader of the Voortrekkers in 1855 and was named after his father Andries Pretorius. The elder Pretorius had become a national hero of the Voortrekkers after his victory over the Zulus in the famous Battle of Blood River. Andries Pretorius also negotiated the Sand River Convention (1852), in which Britain acknowledged the independence of the Transvaal. It became the capital of the South African Republic (ZAR) on 1 May 1860. The founding of Pretoria as the capital of the South African Republic can be seen as marking the end of the Boers' settlement movements of the Great Trek. On 14 October 1931, Pretoria achieved official city status. When South Africa became a republic in 1961, Pretoria remained South Africa’s administrative capital.

Pretoria is situated in the transitional area between the Highveld and the Bushveld, approximately 50 km north of Johannesburg in the north-east of South Africa. It lies in a warm, well sheltered, fertile valley, surrounded by the hills of the Magaliesberg range, 1,370 m (4,495 ft) above sea level. The city's coordinates are approximately 25°43'S 28°17'E

Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of the Gauteng Province, previously known as Northern Transvaal, South Africa. Although largely a government-based city, it is also a place of culture, with theatres, museums and monuments. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive (administrative) capital; the other two being Cape Town (legislative capital) and Bloemfontein (judicial capital). Pretoria is also known as the IQ city due to being the location of UNISA, the largest long distant learning University in the world. Famous High Schools such as Afrikaanse Seuns ( Boys) and Meisies (Girls) High schools and the Pretoria Boys High School and Pretoria Girls High School, together with institutions such as Medunsa, TUT, the University of Pretoria and the world renowned Onderstepoort Veterinary Campus as well as the CSIR are all situated in Pretoria. Excellent medical facilities such as the Urological hospital, Heart hospital and the Eye Institute form just a part of this beautiful city covered in purple with about 50,000 Jacarandas lining the streets of the city, in bloom during the months of October, November and quite often into December.

Church Square The history of the city of Pretoria is very well manifested around Church Square. The striking statue of Paul Kruger – the Boer leader who was president of the South African Republic – dominates the centre of the square. A step below, this statue is surrounded by that of four other Boer soldiers who represent the ordinary citizens of Pretoria.

Most of the other structures around the square have some connection with the history of the city – the Palace of Justice, the Old Capitol Theatre, the Tudor Chambers, the Ou Raadsaal (Old Council Chamber) and the building designed by John Cleland that houses the General Post Office. The Palace of Justice looks impressive with its turrets. It will always bring back memories of the highly emotional Rivonia Trial, which convicted Nelson Mandela, and several other prominent members of the black South African liberation struggle with treason.

Union Buildings The cornerstone of the Union Buildings was laid in November 1910, to commemorate the formation of the Union of South Africa. It cost £1,310,640 and took 1,265 workers over three years to complete the structure. Another £350,000 was spent on acquiring and developing the site. The President of South Africa conducts the affairs of the country from this building located at Meintjies Kop. It is the official seat of government. Black South Africans will cherish the memory of May 1994, when Nelson Mandela took office as the first democratically elected President of the country. The Union Buildings have been given a typically English monumental elegant design by architect Sir Herbert Baker, and are built of light sandstone. They stand 275 meters in length. The semi-circular structure has two wings with representation for the English and Afrikaans sections of the population. Only indigenous plants have been planted in the scenic gardens that graciously surround the buildings. The location has an added attraction of a 9,000-seat amphitheatre.

SA Attractions - Pretoria

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National Zoo

Vootrekker Monument

Loftus Versfeld Stadium

Union Buildings

Groenkloof Nature Reserve

Rietvlei Nature Reserve

Wonderboom Nature Reserve

Transvaal Museum

Church Square

Melrose House

Special Local Products

South Africa Special Product - Rooibos Tea

Rooibos Tea

SA Diamond


SA Wine

Aloe Cream


Ostrich Leather

Zebra Hide

Wood Carving

Ostrich Eggs

SA Attractions

Cape Town

The Winelands

Garden Route



Kruger National Park


Robben Island


Blyde River Canyon


Sun City